Alt Weekly: 'A Royal Affair' and More

Welcome back to Alt Weekly, a column in which we shine a spotlight on the independent films brave enough to open opposite Hollywood's behemoth blockbusters before rolling out in wider release.

This week, monarchs and mutant hoodlums take on Bond, James Bond, in "Skyfall."


Filmmaker Cred: Writer-director Ciaran Foy's feature debut.

Star Power: Not really.

Festival/Awards Buzz: This thriller premiered at South by Southwest last March and went on to win the Midnight Audience Award there. Our review can be found right here.

Release Details: Only NY this Friday, but expanding to LA next week and these cities after that.

See This If... You're not too jumpy for an agoraphobic thriller about a young man, his young son and some very feral locals.


Filmmaker Cred: Director/co-writer Rick Alverson previously directed 2011's "New Jerusalem."

Star Power: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim ("Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie"), LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Gregg Turkington (better known as intentionally wretched stand-up comedian Neil Hamburger).

Festival/Awards Buzz: This film earned walk-outs at its Sundance premiere. Read our review to understand why.

Release Details: In addition to already being available On Demand, it will open in these select theaters this weekend.

See This If... You're a fan of humor that makes you cringe, and you're not easily offended.


Filmmaker Cred: This marks Jeremy Regimbal's directorial debut.

Star Power: Selma Blair, James D'Arcy.

Festival/Awards Buzz: Our own Eric D. Snider was a fan of this thriller out of the Tribeca Film Festival last spring, when it was known as "Replicas." Read his review here.

Release Details: At the IFC Center this weekend, and already available On Demand.

See This If... You're in the mood for a creepy home-invasion thriller.

Nature Calls'NATURE CALLS'

Filmmaker Cred: Writer-director Todd Rohal previously brought us "The Catechism Cataclysm."

Star Power: Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, Rob Riggle, Maura Tierney, Patrice O'Neal in his last film role.

Festival/Awards Buzz: The response to this camping comedy was understandably mixed out of SXSW.

Release Details: In NY/LA theaters this Friday, and it's currently available On Demand.

See This If... Cursing kids are all it takes to get a giggle.


Filmmaker Cred: Director Nikolaj Arcel has a storied Danish film career but has yet to really cross over to Stateside audiences.

Star Power: Mads Mikkelsen is best known as the villain from "Casino Royale," while Alicia Vikander is already earning acclaim for her supporting turn in this month's "Anna Karenina."

Festival/Awards Buzz: This historical drama premiered at Berlin last February and has gone on to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews. We gave it an A-.

Release Details: These theaters in NY, LA and Chicago this week, before expanding in the coming weeks.

See This If... You love 18th-century love in all its loveliness.